Markers of Descent
Lulu Publishing Services (2015)
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (12/15)
Being a fan of the author, I was eager to get my hands on “Markers of Descent” by Lucia Cascioli, and I was not disappointed. The story begins when Mr. Moore, a professor at the University of London, gives in to his friend Charles Fitzgerald, and moves to Canada. On a sabbatical from his job in London, he takes a position at the University of Toronto and purchases an old estate outside the city. Once there, he confides in his friend about some historical letters he found inside an old book from the housewhere he grew up. The letters were found when he was researching the Tudors, looking for a rumored Tudor family branch, and he had not paid much attention to them at the time. Little did he know that the letters would take him, his friend Charles, and a forensic specialist from the University, on an eternal fight between good and evil.
Cascioli takes readers through a complex plot filled with mysterious clues, interesting characters, and page turning suspense in this unique, thrilling story line. Fiction and history come together with just the right balance, keeping the reader hooked and interested as facts turn to fantasy in a believable way. I also enjoyed the dialogue, as it not only made the characters genuine and real, but also moved the story forward, making the flow of the book easy and quick to read. However, I did wish the plot moved just a bit slower and included more details during the process of discovering clues, so that the story did not feel rushed. I also had a big problem with the editing of this book, which pains me to say as a fan of Cascioli. There were enough editing issues to take me out of the story to go back and re-read sentences. The issues were not major, but the quantity of them did block the natural flow of the story, which was annoying. I believe this book will benefit immensely from a professional editing job, and the quality of the book deserves it.
"Markers of Descent" by Lucia Cascioli is a suspenseful mystery that will keep readers turning pages, and will linger in their minds. I love the story and recommend it, hopeful that the editing issues will be fixed.